Monthly Archives: June 2011

Central Coast Wine Classic: 27 years of delicious indulgence

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We are SO excited for the Central Coast Wine Classic coming up next week, Thursday, July 7 through Sunday, July 10.  If you don’t know anything about the Wine Classic and you like wine, food, fine art and/or good music, you’re in for a real treat.  First things first: “Like” Parker Sanpei & Associates on Facebook and be entered to win tickets to the event every day:!/pages/Parker-Sanpei/111990292225872

The Wine Classic boasts a first-rate rare wine and art auction, the appearance of several celebrity chefs, and the participation of today’s most sought-after international vintners, sommeliers and wine educators.  The event is held on our very own Central Coast, mostly in and around picturesque Avila Beach.  The Wine Classic was founded in 1984 by the inimitable Archie McLaren as a celebration of gastronomic indulgences, and has sinced welcomed guests from across the globe to San Luis Obispo County year after year.  The event also benefits the Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation, which has made grants totaling $1,615,943 to 76 non-profit organizations on the Central Coast since 2004.

This year, the Wine Classic has added some spectacular new features that will up the ante considerably.  For instance, the weekend will feature the sultry, sensual sounds of world-renowned Brazilian jazz percussionist Airto Moreira  at the VIP Outdoor Dinner and Concert at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, Friday, July 8 from 6 to 10 P.M.  Enjoy a sumptuous dinner prepared by some of the Central Coast’s finest chefs, beautiful special-occasion-only wines, and the hip-swinging rhythms of Airto Moreira and his band (or, alternatively, you can just buy tickets for the concert).

Of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the world’s best wines.  Visit the Reserve Wine Tasting to taste some of the most celebrated wines from 50 California wineries, all under one roof!  Regional chefs will be on hand to pair these wines with culinary samplings from their fine Central Coast restaurants on Sunday from 1 to 4 P.M.  Or hit up the Rare and Fine Wine and Lifestyle Auction, Silent Auction and Luncheon at the Avila Beach Golf Resort with cuisine will be prepared and presented by Central Coast chefs Laurent Grangien of Bistro Laurent in Paso Robles; Rick Manson of Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Food in Santa Maria; Ian McPhee of McPhee’s Grill in Templeton; and Frank Ostini of the Hitching Post II in Buellton (Saturday, 10 A.M. – 5 P.M.).

If you’re the athletic type, the Central Coast Cycling Classic, including winery visits and a wine luncheon, is for you (Friday).  Or if you prefer the lap of luxury, check out the Dinner at Hearst Castle in San Simeon featuring Hawaii chefs Roy Yamaguchi, D.K. Kodamaand George Mavrothalassitis (Thursday).  For studious connoisseurs, there are symposia and demonstrations galore on topics such as Malbec, Chardonnay, cheese-pairing, and Hawaiian cooking.

To see a full list of Central Coast Wine Classic events or to purchase tickets and get in on the fun, please visit or call Archie directly at 805-544-1285.  We’ll see you there!


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Let’s ROLL!

If you like good wine, delicious food, picturesque vineyards, and the prettiest little downtown this side of anywhere, then you *need* to attend the San Luis Obispo Vintners Association Roll Out The Barrels event this weekend, June 23 through 26.  And here’s why:

Sipping, munching and hob-nobbing – Thursday evening, make your way through San Luis Obispo’s famous farmer’s market to Mission Plaza, where some of the area’s best vintners will pair their wines with bites from local chefs.  The event will run from 5:30-7:30pm, and will feature the following producers and restaurants:

Ancient Peaks Winery15 Degrees C, Baileyana/Tangent WineryCentral Coast Seafood, Cal Poly WinesChino’s Rock & TacosCenter of Effort Winery, Cielo Cantina, Chamisal Vineyards, Luna Red,  Claiborne & ChurchillNovo RestaurantClesi Wines, Greenhouse Grill and Cafe, Edna Valley Vineyard, Ventana Grill, Kelsey See Canyon WinerySplash Café & Sweet Earth Chocolates, Kynsi Winery, The Neon Carrot, Laetitia Estate Vineyards & Winery, Two Cooks Catering, Per Bacco Cellars, Caffé Roma, Phantom Rivers Winery, SLO Pasty Co, Pismo Beach Winery, Sea Venture Restaurant, Salisbury VineyardsPopolo’s Rotisserie, Saucelito Canyon WineryMother’s Tavern, Sextant Gourmet Deli at Old Edna, Sinor La-Vallee WineryGather Winebar, Stephen Ross Cellars, Et Voila! RestaurantTalley Vineyards, Lido Restaurant, Tolosa Winery, Meze Cafe, Wolff Vineyards, Apple Farm Restaurant, Zocker WineryCreeky Tiki RestaurantNautical Bean CafeHouse of Bread, and Cattaneo Bros.

Getting to know you – On Friday night, hook up with any number of winemakers for a bountiful winemaker dinner complemented by award-winning San Luis Obispo wines.   Choose from Novo Restaurant with winemaker Mike Sinor to Clairborne & Churchill Winery with Chef Jose Dahan to the downtown tasting room of Pithy Little Wine Co. with cupcakes from Amy Bakes Cupcakes, you’re sure to find something to tickle your palate.

Passport to Paradise – Saturday and Sunday, let the rolling hills and vineyards lead you from one winery to the next during a tour of San Luis Obispo wine country.  Grab a map at your first stop and enjoy barrel samples, library tastings, food, live music, special discounts and more at each of 19 participating wineries.  Sunday morning, enjoy tasty pancakes and strong coffee at the annual “Hair of the Dog” breakfast at Salisbury Vineyards, then head out for another full day of wine tasting.  What could be better?

For tickets to any or all of these events, take the time to visit the SLO Vintners website:  See you there!

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The Big Day For Big Daddy

It’s Father’s Day this Sunday, June 19th!  How will your dad celebrate?  A barbecue?  A round of golf?  Coffee and a newspaper?  Or perhaps a nap in the easy chair? Here, we look into the origins of the holiday and how the rest of the world honors Dear Old Dad.  (Thanks to Wikipedia,, and the Hub Pages for these tidbits.)

The beginnings of Father’s Day were, perhaps surprisingly, marked by controversy.  It seems there is a slight discrepancy in who “invented” the holiday.  Most references cite Spokane, WA, resident, Sonora Dodd as the instigator.  But Wikipedia says otherwise:

The first observance of Father’s Day actually took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. It was organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster several months earlier in Monongah, West Virginia, on December 6, 1907. It’s possible that Clayton was influenced by the first celebration of Mother’s Day that same year, just a few miles away. Clayton chose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her recently deceased father.

Unfortunately, the day was overshadowed by other events in the city, West Virginia did not officially register the holiday, and it was not celebrated again. All the credit for Father’s Day went to Sonora Dodd from Spokane, who invented independently her own celebration of Father’s Day just two years later, also influenced by Anna Jarvis’ Mother’s Day.

Later, when Congress introduced the bill to make Father’s Day a national holiday, a slew of concerns arose and haunted the holiday until its eventual adoption.

A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “[singling] out just one of our two parents.” In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

So, how do children, wives and grandchildren honor the fathers in our lives on this day in the U.S.?  The answers are fascinating:

More phone calls are made in the United States during Mother’s Day than during Father’s Day, but the percentage of collect calls on Father’s Day is much higher, making it the busiest day of the year for collect calls.

Also, calls during both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day tend to last longer.

According to the statistics, the most common and popular gifts for the Father’s day are necktie and flowers.

In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and traditionally male-oriented gifts such as electronics and tools.

While Mother’s Day is historically a HIGH day for church attendance; Father’s Day is historically a LOW day for church attendance.

From the statistics, it looks like Dad is celebrated by receiving a long collect call, a necktie or a screwdriver, and is let off the hook for church!

But what about in other cultures?

In Germany, Father’s Day (Vatertag) is celebrated differently from other parts of the world. It is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter), which is a federal holiday. Regionally, it is also called men’s day, Männertag, or gentlemen’s day, Herrentag. It is tradition, especially in the north and east of the country but much less so in the south and west, for groups of males (young and old but usually excluding pre-teenage boys) to do a hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen, pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine or beer (according to region) and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost. Many men use this holiday as an opportunity to get drunk.

In countries of Hindu tradition, the western-inspired Father’s Day is celebrated on the new moon day (Amavasya) during late August or early September, to fit the existing Hindu worship of fathers. This is common among countries with Hindu majorities like in India and Nepal.

In Thailand, Father’s Day is set as the birthday of the king. December 5 is the birthday of the current king, Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). Traditionally, Thais celebrate by giving their father or grandfather a Canna flower (ดอกพุทธรักษา Dok Buddha Ruksa), which is considered a masculine flower; however, this is not as commonly practiced today. Thai people will wear yellow on this day to show respect for the king, because yellow is the Color of the day for Monday, the day king Bhumibol Adulyadej was born. In 2007, king Bhumibol Adulyadej was seen leaving the hospital wearing a baby pink blazer. Today, Thais wear pink instead of the yellow.

However your favorite big guy plans to spend his special day, we hope it’s the best Father’s Day yet!

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Stay and Play for Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011

Central Coast Hotels Offer Enticing Packages for Destination Food & Wine Event


A number of hotels have recently announced their partnership with Sunset magazine ( to offer packages that highlight the beauty and bounty of the Central Coast in tandem with the publication’s second annual destination food and wine event, Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011.  Properties from San Simeon to the Santa Ynez Valley have crafted generous stay-and-play packages combining comfortable accommodations with tickets to the multi-day celebration, held September 29 through October 2, as well as invitations to enjoy quintessential Central Coast activities such as golfing, wine tasting and fine dining.

Celebrity Chef Cat Cora

Sunset Savor the Central Coast 2011 will showcase our county’s growing wine region and gourmet cuisine, highlight our local farmers, and show off our scenic beauty,” says Brittany Garcia, Community and Member Relations Manager for the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau, which hosts the event with Sunset.  “This year we are partnering with some of the best hotels in San Luis Obispo County to create packages that augment the true ‘SAVOR experience.’”

Highlights include:

  • The historic Paso Robles Inn, which offers double-occupancy two-night stay (Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1), two one-day passes to the Main Event, a bottle of Paso Robles wine and welcome basket of local artisan products, a Paso Robles wine tasting map, insulated wine tote, complimentary tastings at local wineries, and a $50 voucher to the newly-remodeled Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse.
  • The romantic Shoreline Inn…on the beach in Cayucos, whose package includes a double-occupancy two-night stay in a beachfront room, two one-day tickets to the Main Event valued at $170.00, a half-dozen Brown Butter cookies and a signature wine opener from the Shoreline Inn.
  • The Embarcadero Inn in scenic Morro Bay, which will include a double-occupancy two-night stay in a king room with full sea view, fireplace, two one-day passes to the Main Event, and free continental breakfast.
  • The Holiday Inn Express in San Luis Obispo, which will include a double-occupancy two-night stay with a king suite upgrade, two one-day passes to the Main Event, and a welcome basket featuring local products.

Other properties include the Colony Inn Best Western Plus and Holiday Inn Express in Atascadero; Avila Lighthouse Suites in Avila Beach; the Olallieberry Inn in Cambria; the Masterpiece Motel and Beach Bungalow Inn and Suites in Morro Bay; and the Cottage Inn, Sandcastle Inn, Spyglass Inn, Best Western Plus Shelter Cove Lodge, Best Western Plus Shore Cliff Lodge, Pismo Lighthouse Suites, Cliffs Resort and Spa, Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa, and Sea Crest Oceanfront Hotel in Pismo Beach.  For more information on these hotel properties offering packages for Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011, visit

Held at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch, the centerpiece of Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011 is the Main Event which will celebrate the flavors of the good life on the Central Coast: Gardening seminars, food and wine pairings, discussions on sustainability, backyard farming exhibits, and cooking demonstrations featuring celebrity chef, Cat Cora.  In addition, the Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011 weekend will offer a host of adventure tours, celebrations, and farm-to-table meals to bring the beauty and bounty of California’s Central Coast vibrantly to life, including:

  • VIP Reception and Opening Night soirée at Hearst Castle on Thursday, September 29
  • Sunset Western Wine Awards Gala on the Pismo Beach Pier, Friday, September 30
  • Paso Glow culinary experience in Paso Robles’ City Park where local chefs and farmers join Cat Cora to celebrate the Central Coast under the moon on Saturday evening, October 1
  • SAVOR the Mission Plaza,” an al fresco dining experience in the heart of SLO Mission Plaza, featuring San Luis Obispo County’s best chefs and wineries, Saturday evening, October 1
  • Kayaking the Morro Bay Estuary, horseback riding across the Oceano Dunes, hiking Moñtana de Oro State Park, hot-air-ballooning over Paso Robles wine country, and much more.

Tickets for the Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011 event are on sale at and will also be available at Farm Supply outlets starting July 5.

Sunset magazine has partnered with the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau to launch Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011. For more event information and tickets, visit, or call 8007686653.  Become a fan on Facebook:, or follow us on Twitter (@SavorCC).  Ticket proceeds and sponsorships are considered donations to the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Convention Bureau, a 501 c 6 nonprofit tourism organization promoting San Luis Obispo County.

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A Perfect Day for Strolling and Sipping

Something very cool is afoot in Monterey.  This Saturday, June 4th, we at Parker Sanpei & Associates will be ambling through the vines of beautiful wine country, enjoying delicious food and wine, burning some calories, and raising funds to provide scholarships to children of Monterey’s agriculture employees as well as research efforts through the American Vineyard Foundation and Monterey Cooperative Extension office.  It’s the second annual Winery Walk, and we can’t wait!

Care to join us?  Simply register online and create a specialized walker page that you can send out to family, friends, and colleagues.  (If you can’t participate in the walk but want to make a contribution to a walker or team, click here.)  The day begins at 7:45am with registration and stretching, then we’ll head out at 8:30am to walk a gorgeous journey through the scenic five-mile private vineyard of Paraiso Vineyards for awesome prizes (Amazon Kindle, iPad, Monterey getaway vacation, and more!) as well as a t-shirt and gift bag.  Staying motivated will be a breeze because a healthy lifestyle cooking demonstration, farmer’s market, and brunch and wine reception will await us at the finish line!

Here are the details:

  • Date: Sat, 06/04/2011
  • Time: Registration and Stretching: 7:45am, Walk Begins at 8:30am
  • Price: $100 per walker. Encourage family and friends to support your walk!
  • Organization: Monterey County Vintners and Growers Foundation
  • E-mail:
  • Phone: 831-375-9400
  • Website:

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